Relentless Love Never Stops Pursuing
God relentlessly pursues us with his love. Bless your marriage by pursuing your spouse in the same way.
Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5:2 (The Message) Ephesians 5:2 (The Message)
God designed marriage to reflect the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. This notion is much more than a trite metaphor spoken of at weddings. It’s the key to a marriage filled with all the intimate connection and deep passion that you want. It’s what God wants for you too.
The Apostle Paul makes the parallel clear in his teachings on marriage in the book of Ephesians.
”’For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
Ephesians 5:31-32 (NKJ)
God’s desire is that we pursue our spouse with the same kind of relentless desire for intimacy and connection that He has for us. His love for us does not run hot and cold based on our behavior. He continually seeks an intimate relationship with us, no matter what, and there is nothing can we do or fail to do that can change His love and passion toward us.
His pursuit of intimacy with us (and our pursuit of Him) doesn’t end when we come to faith in Him. The decision to follow Him is just the beginning.
Similarly, a couple’s pursuit of each other doesn’t end with the wedding.
It’s easy to forget how critically important pursuit is to a strong marriage, regardless of how long you’ve been together. In fact, because we tend to settle into comfortable patterns of benign neglect over time, being intentional about maintaining intimacy and passion becomes even more important as time goes on.
Kids, mortgages, careers, and the demands of daily life want to steal our passion and leave us with little or nothing left for our most important human relationship – the one with our spouse. But leftovers aren’t enough, and your spouse deserves more than that.
What does relentless love in marriage look like?
It will look different in every marriage, because to pursue your spouse is to do whatever most says, “I love you” to him or her. Learn what makes them feel loved and do that. Be a lifelong student of your spouse so you can convey your love in ways that are most meaningful to him or her. You never graduate from spouse school.
Keep in mind that the words and deeds that speak love to you are likely quite different than those that convey love to your spouse. We naturally tend to give love in the ways we want to receive it, but that might not match how they are wired to receive it. Learn their “love language” and speak that fluently. A helpful resource is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
Let me encourage you that pursing your husband or wife does not necessarily require you to make grand gestures or extravagant plans. No, pursuit has its greatest impact through daily acts of love and kindness, and by continually making connections in little ways. Depending on your spouse’s love needs, an extended hug, a meaningful conversation, a walk together or a shared prayer can help keep the spark of passion alive.
The key is to be intentional about expressing love every day. Just like Jesus.
++Scott and Jenni Means regularly host a Northlands community group “Marriage: Made in Heaven,” a 12-week study that explores how our relationship with Christ can teach us how to do marriage well. Scott also blogs on marriage at HeavenMadeMarriage.com . He has just released the second book in his Igniting Intimacy Series, entitled Pump Up the Passion, 5 Habits to Move Your Marriage From Mundane to Marvelous. Order your copy from his website or for Kindle from Amazon.++
Father, remind me daily of your love for me and your desire to walk in intimate relationship with me. In the same way, guide me in the pursuit of my spouse. Teach me to love him or her well and prompt me to be intentional about expressing my love in meaningful ways. Thank you that your heart is for me and for my marriage. Amen.